Nottingham Indymedia: Review of 2010

Tagged as: 2010 indymedia new_year review
Neighbourhoods: nottingham
Published by group: GroupNotts Indymedia

The beginning of 2011 offers an opportunty to look back over 2010 and review how much the local activist movement has achieved. Last year has not always been easy, but in compiling a review of what has gone on, it is surprising just how much has gone on. Hopefully, this should provide a strong base for moving forward into 2011.

Previous features: Notts Indymedia: review of 2009

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Stonebridge City Farm

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Save Victoria Baths campaign

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Graffiti spotted in February

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Direct action against H&K

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Mayday

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Gaza flotilla demo

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JB Spray

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Nottingham Pride 2010

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Nottingham Caribbean Carnival

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Protest against the Pope's state visit

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March against the cuts in November

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Ratcliffe Conspiracy Trial

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Ben Sharkey

January

The year began with threat to the long-established Stonebridge City Farm in St Ann’s coming under threat from the Council. The Council threatened to take 10% of the farm’s land to build a car park. The local community responded quickly organising to defend this important green space.

Noottingham’s hunt sabs reported a successful season with prestigious hunts in Notts, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire sabbed.

Campaigners fighting against the closure of the Victoria Baths in Sneinton discovered that the City Council were closing the baths early. This would leave the community without leisure facilities whilst a new leisure centre was built. The move was suspected to be a cynical money saving ploy.

A popular asylum seeking family from Ghana were threatened with deportation again. Selina, Brian and Chelsea Adda, who live in the Meadows, were supported by many in their local community and the deportation was averted.

Stonebridge City Farm under threat | Busy year for Nottingham hunt sabs | Victoria Baths axed early in city budget | EDL riot in Stoke | Urgent action for Notts family facing deportation

February

The unpopular Notts police force came under pressure in February when it was announced they were to be inspected and their practices reviewed. The review came after a number of high profile cases of police malpractice, negligence and corruption, including the tasering of an unarmed man in the city centre. Needless to say, we haven’t spotted any improvement since…

The Council decided to ban legal graffiti walls at community centres throughout the city. This provoked the ire of many established graffiti artists who argued that it would take away the possibility for young artists to express themselves legally.

February was a bad month for the BNP who did badly in the Hucknall Central by-election and came under attack from a group calling itself the “Broxtowe Reds”. Party activists Nina and Dave Brown had their vehicles damaged.

Activists spectacularly shut down the Lenton premises of arms manufacturers H&K for the day by chaining themselves to gates and occupying the roof of the building. At the trial of one of the activists, the Managing Director of the company refused to deny that the premises were used to store weapons.

The first anti-cuts protests began when Notts County Council voted to sell off care homes for the elderly. Protesters gathered outside County Hall to register their opposition to the moves that will mean greatly increased fees for residents.

What’s up with Notts Police? | Campaign to save Victoria Baths takes fight to the council | Nottingham City Council to end legal graffiti | BNP difficulties in Notts | Direct action shuts down H&K | Another victory for anti-fur campaigners | Protests against county council cuts

March

There were more woes for local fascists in March, when the East Midlands branch of the National Front attempted to have a Day of Action in Derbyshire. Anti-fascists confronted them in Ripley and took their Union Jack and leaflets from them before chasing them out of the town centre.

Nottingham City Council announced that they would be cutting their budget by £18.8m. The cuts included closures of residential homes and libraries and cuts to the City Council Deaf Service. Deaf activists blocked the tram in Market Square in protest.

The City Council also announced that it would be selling the Radford Unity Complex, giving the community groups that had been using it for 20 years little time to find alternative premises. Members of the local community marched from the complex into the city centre in protest. The proposed sale fell through and now the groups are hoping to buy the building themselves.

National Front humiliated in Derbyshire | Nottingham remembers anti-Poll Tax struggle | Action against cuts in Nottingham | Nottingham celebrates International Women’s Day | Animal rights gathering in Notts | Radford community on the march

April

As the build up to the general election reached a frenzy, Notts Indymedia covered some of the more amusing stories that emerged, including a local Tory candidate getting bitten by a dog and Nick Griffin’s toilets being blocked by “Labour thugs”. Even Prime Minister Gordon Brown popped in and out of Nottingham, shielded from the general public by his security detail.

In more serious news, animal rights activists continued to protest the ‘Great’ British Circus across the Midlands. The circus is one of the few remaining circuses to feature live animals. There were celebrations when it was announced that the animals would be banned from British circuses in future.

Election madness begins | If I can’t laugh, it’s not my revolution | Busy start to 2010 for Notts hunt sabs | Protests against ‘Great’ British Circus continue | Whose Streets? Our Streets?

May

Mayday celebrations took place across the East Midlands. Nottingham’s celebration was under greater pressure in previous years with the local council imposing much stricter conditions on events and making the organisers pay for road closures.

In Leicester, activists invaded the site of a proposed animal research lab at the university. Later in the year hunger strikes took place outside the offices of constructors Wilmott Dixon.

The elections saw a lot of activity from local BNP members and anti-fascists who opposed them. A late night to the Derbyshire farm that hosted the party’s Red, White and Blue festival was followed by the announcement that the festival was to be scrapped.

Arms dealers were under attack too. The Rolls Royce Trident factory in Derby was grafittied and gates were locked shut by a group protesting the war machine.

Announcing Notts Indypendent | Mayday celebrations across the East Midlands | Proposed Leicester animal lab attracts protests | Scapegoats, Serco and Solidarity | Notts Pension Fund linked to tar sands extraction | anti-fascist news | Rolls Royce Targeted in Derby | Nottingham anti-arms trade activist convicted | JB Spray squat under threat | Anti-fascists claim victory as BNP festival cancelled

June

The massacre of aid workers and human rights activists on the Gaza flotilla shocked the world in June. Nottingham responded with a well attended demo in the Market Square. A Nottingham Trent student, ‘Tox’ Sharif, was one of those who survived the onslaught.

The new coalition government unleashed a budget full of cuts and a rise in VAT. Trade unionists and the Right to Work campaign protested in Market Square and the PCS union organised protests at lunchtime.

Nottingham Indymedia finally made the transition to our new site. It’s still going strong 6 months later and we hope you like the new features!

Nottingham responds to Gaza flotilla massacre | Nottingham hosts “first ever Vegan Beer Festival” | Nottingham Indymedia is switching to a new site | Villagers keep up pressure against Minorca mine | Hunger strike against Leicester animal lab | Nottingham responds to budget | Smash EDO solidarity in Nottingham

July

July saw protests against the Evening Post’s coverage of migration and related issues, as part of a national day of action against “racist” media.

In Keyworth, plans to build a new Tesco store generated a strong local campaign in opposition, which – at the time of writing – appears to have been successful.

At the county council, council leader Kay Cutts’ decision to have the memorial to the International Brigades at County Hall rearranged so as to obscure its political content, generated considerable anger and in July, the Trades Council organised a re-dedication event. The Radical History Group and local Anarchist Federation organised events around the theme of the Spanish Civil War to tie into this, including a discussion about the Spanish CNT union and a showing of Ken Loach’s Land and Freedom.

New Nottingham Indymedia site launched | Day of action against 'racist' Nottingham Post | Villagers prepare to resist Tesco | Nottingham remembers Spanish Civil War | Anarchism in Spain event in Nottingham

In August, the squatters in the JB Spray were expecting to be evicted and had prepared themselves for that eventuality. A court case went against them, but despite bailiffs and police checking the building out, the occupants have yet to be removed.

August also saw two stories in the local press involving use of tasers. In one a woman was shot by accident and in another, a taser was used on a dangerous dog. The lack of a wider debate about the use of such weapons has caused some concern.

On a lighter note, August also saw carnival and Pride held in the city. The latter was held on the Forest for the first time and also featured a fringe event involving actual politics addressed by various speakers including LGBT activist Pete Tatchell.

JB Spray: Ready to resist eviction | Notts Indymedia is 5! | Nottingham Pride 2010 | Nottingham Carnival 2010 | Tasers in Nottingham and elsewhere | JB Spray: eviction imminent

September

September was a relatively quiet month, at least on the newswire. Ocean defence activist Wietse briefly returned to the city and discussed what he has been doing with Sea Shepherd and the newly formed Black Fish organisation.

The Pope also visited the UK this month, generating considerable controversy due to his stances on abortion, contraception, homosexuality and abusive priests. Although he didn’t come to Nottingham, local residents were among those who travelled to London to protest against him, among them one “Cardinal Ratzarsse von Flashern.”

Ocean defence activist in Nottingham | Notts resident takes on the Pope

Notts Save Our Services was launched at the end of September, to bring together local anti-cuts campaigns and October saw the beginning of a wave of resistance which would come to define the end of the year. October saw an number of protests and several attacks on cuts related targets.

This month also saw anti-fascists facing the English Defence League (EDL) in Leicester.

On a sorer note, October also saw well-known local activist Mark Stone outed as an undercover police officer. After an anonymous story appeared on the newswire, Nottingham Indymedia was able to confirm that this was genuine.

Notttingham mobilises to save services | Antifascists to face EDL in Leicester | Nottingham revisits "Reform Riots" | EDL descend on Leicester | Notts County Council announce £72m cuts | Mark Kennedy/Stone exposed as undercover | Week of action against cuts in Nottingham

November

November saw the tragic death of Ben Sharkey.

Protests continued throughout the month against cuts with a march of more than 1,000 people from the Forest Recreation Ground to Market Square. There was also an attack on the local Tory Party HQ’s and with students taking the lead in the campaign following the protest at Millbank, students at the University of Nottingham occupied the Great Hall in the Trent Building.

November also saw the beginning of the first of the 2 Ratcliffe Trials. These followed the arrest of 114 climate activists in April 2009. In the first case, the defendants pleaded necessity, arguing that they had to try and shut the power station down because of the severity of the threat posed by climate change.

Remember Ben Sharkey | Action against cuts continues in Notts | Ratcliffe Conspiracy Trial Begins | Ratcliffe Trial: Prosecution Opens | Nottingham students protest cuts

December

In December, the Ratcliffe Trial called an array of impressive witnesses including ex-MP Alan Simpson, Green MP Caroline Lucas and NASA scientist James Hansen. Ultimately, however, despite an extended period of deliberation, the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict.

Resistance to cuts continued into December, despite the end of the university occupation, with more activity planned into 2011.

It also emerged that the city council was planning to instal more CCTV in Hyson Green, with a Nottingham Indymedia reader less than impressed with the reasons given by the council.

Ratcliffe Trial: Week 2 | Notts Occupation Ends; Resistance Continues | Guilty verdict in Ratcliffe trial | More CCTV in Hyson Green

Comments

Great roundup!

It's a great round-up but I need to problematize the group identity you're using, "the local activist movement."

Activism is not a movement, it is an approach to the world involving active engagement with socio-political problems. A movement is a collection of individuals and groups with a common aim, rather than a common approach.

The plurality of these stories, and the many overlaps in their shared ideals is inspiring. However, portraying all of these things as an "activist movmement" is not just oversimplifying a diversity of campaigns, it also displays a vanguardist attitude towards social change.

Please consider that if we are trying to involve more people in active socio-political engagement, we need to stop projecting ourselves as an exclusive ghetto of "activists."

True, but...

I think that's a fair criticism, the introduction isn't brilliant.

Moral of the story: don't try and write anything on New Year's Day.